At the end of level 23, just after Dinesh Alt’s jacks held up to oust ShuYang Yu, four of our five remaining players had almost identical chip stacks. Ling Tong had 1,662,000; Nan Hong had 1,650,000; Kenneth Leong had 1,618,000 and Alt had 1,610,000. (Only Alexandre Chieng’s 1,149,000 was sub-standard, and not by that much.)
But while that represented a slight downswing for four of them (only slight, but a downswing nonetheless), it meant that Alt had stopped the rot of the early levels and had bounced back into consideration.
Momentum is a very potent force in poker and Alt came back from the break with renewed confidence and a refreshed chip stack. And he set about working it expertly. He picked up numerous smallish pots and fought back against Nan Hong, to his right, so much so that Hong’s stack dwindled to lower than a million chips.
Hong also seemed slightly impatient. After he limped the small blind, then called Alt’s raise of 100,000 more, Hong then shoved the flop of 4♣5♠9♥. It was for about 700,000 and Alt was perplexed. Hong bashed the elbow rest on the edge of the table, got up from his chair to take a swig of orange juice while he waited for Alt to make up his mind. Alt folded and the dealer prepared the next hand.
This time, Kenneth Leong, to Hong’s left, opened to 80,000 from the cut off and Hong shoved again from the button. It was 850,000, or about 28 big blinds. It was folded back to Leong who paused for a moment, then called. Leong tabled J♠J♣ and Hong would need help with his A♣7♠.
He wasn’t drawing totally dead on the J♦7♦4♣ flop, but in the absence of runner-runner miracle sevens on turn and river, Hong was out in fifth.
It leaves them four handed, with Chieng still the short stack and Alt and Leong way out front. They each have about 2.3m.
A reminder on how to follow our coverage from Macau. There is hand-by-hand coverage at the top of the main APPT Macau page, which includes chip counts and a list of eliminated players via the “Payouts” tab. Feature coverage will filter in beneath the panel. All the information about the Asia Pacific Poker Tour is on the APPT site, and PokerStars Macau also has its own home.